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No Cheserek, No Problem: The Men's West Prelim Will Still Be Lit!

No Cheserek, No Problem: The Men's West Prelim Will Still Be Lit!
Photo: Image of Sport
The men's NCAA West Preliminary Round gets started on Thursday in Austin, Texas. Hosted by the University of Texas, the three-day regional championship is the first stage of competition on the road to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Here are seven burning questions that we can't wait to have answered during this weekend's prelims.

1) How many sprinters will Houston advance? The Cougars have seven entries in the 100 and 200 combined--all of which have a legitimate chance to qualify.

2) What will the Texas Tech stars do? High seeds Steven Champlin (45.12) and Charles Jones (1:46.70) came down with injuries/cramps at the Big 12 Championship two weeks ago. Will they recover and qualify for NCAAs?

3) Will the UTEP men have the fastest 4x4? Emmanuel Korir and Micheal Saruni seem to be certain locks for top 12 spots in the 800. But, after watching these two men race the 400 this spring, they could put together a national contender in the 4x4.

4) Can low distance seeds snag a top 12 spot? Colby Willson (33rd in the steeple), Jack Keelan (42nd in the 5k), and Malachy Schrobilgen (31st in the 10k) all are legit talents who could snag a top 12 spot this year.

5) Can Texas A&M qualify its dark horses? The Aggies are one of the favorites to win the national title. They have big-time scorers with Kerley Bros (400), Devin Dixon (800), Robert Grant (400), Audie Wyatt (PV), Will Williams (LJ), Ioannis Kryiazias (JT), and Lindon Victor (DEC). However, could some of their younger/under-the-radar guys such as Elijah Morrow (200), Richard Rose (400), JaQwae Ellison (800), and Alex Riba (1500/5K) sneak into the top 12 spots?

6) Will a big name get knocked out? When it comes to qualifying rounds in the 800/1500, crazy things can happen. Sometimes you end up in a slow heat and get edged out of nationals by 0.01. So who will be on the outside looking in this year?

7) Who will step up in the prelims in Edward Cheserek's absence? It should be interesting to see the 5K and 10K prelims unfold without a "household name" in the race. The West prelim should give us a small look at the main challenger for Justyn Knight and Alfred Chelanga out in the East.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR OFFICIAL TOP 12 PREDICTIONS

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